Gov’t Greenlights Bailout for Virus-Stricken Thai Airways

Thai Airways fleet seen at Suvarnabhumi Airport on March 25, 2020.

BANGKOK — The Minister of Finance said on Thursday that the government will inject a new round of cash bailout for Thai Airways, whose operations have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Uttama Savanayana said the flag carrier airline has been severely affected by the epidemic, resulting in cancellations of many international routes. The minister said the state enterprise board is discussing with the airline and transport ministry on the details of the financial assistance.

“Nowadays every airline in the world is facing a crisis from the spread of Covid-19,” Uttama said. “We are ready to support Thai Airways to keep moving forward.”

The ongoing pandemic pummels any hope by the airline to recoup its massive financial losses in recent years. According to a February data, Thai Airways has an accumulative loss of 12 billion baht.

The airline announced last week that it would suspend all international flights until May 31, except its routes to Munich and Zurich, in Germany and Switzerland, respectively.

“The finance and transport ministries will [work together] to help Thai Airways move on from this difficulty,” Uttama said. “Their staff also understands that everyone must contribute their help to move forward together. We will take care of this issue in the best way we can.”